Edition 148 - February 2014

Artwork: Debbie Rigler Cook

Artwork: Judie Weedon


Christmas is over and we are now well into the new year. The village festivities were enjoyed by all and special mention must be made of the wonderful singing of our Primary School Choir at the Carol Service held on a really foul night . . . and talking of weather, it has been horrendous with torrential rain and tidal surges.

The healthy crop of Christmas messages helped the Manor Hall and Newsletter, both suffering from ailing funds and the dark and dreary days have brought the inevitable coughs and colds and other ailments. To those who could wish for better health, we send our good wishes for speedy recoveries and we hope you will be feeling better soon.

We also send good wishes to all newcomers to the village and those who have moved away.

The evenings are drawing out and the mornings getting a little lighter - spring IS on its way! Don't forget to put clocks forward an hour on the night of 29th/30th March or you may miss the Mothering Sunday Service!

Below are the deadline dates for forthcoming issues which will hopetully be helptul, especially for the regular contributors:

  • 12th March for April issue due out 3rd April
  • 7th May for June issue due out 29th May
  • 9th July for August issue due out 31st July
  • 10th September for October issue due out 2nd October
  • 5th November for December issue due out 28th November
  • 7th January for February issue due out 29th January

There are lots of interesting articles once again in this issue and thank you to not only the regular contributors but everyone else who has put pen to paper or e-mailed me with articles, and Paul, our Artist in Residence. I'll look forward to another batch of contributions for the April issue as soon as possible and by the 12th March at the latest.

Judie - Ed


Artwork: Alvary Scott


A wonderful Christmas was spent at St. Peter's. The church was beautifully decorated, again thanks to Sue and her team, with the tree and the added touch of candles on the window sills. In spite of the weather, the church was packed for the Carol Service and the Christmas Eve service was well-attended with more people taking communion this year. A Family Service was held on Christmas morning with Rev. Chris bringing along a family of sheep to delight the children. The Epiphany [arrival of the three wise men] was celebrated on 5th January with Celia Withers coming over to lead the service. It is now time to put away the crib and carol sheets for another year!

January and February will give us time to recharge our batteries although the PCC will be holding their annual meetings to look back over 2013 and make plans for the year ahead. A second churchwarden is needed by March to join Teresa Crockett and lighten her load.

Easter is not until the third week-end in April and Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday on the 5th March. Mothering Sunday falls on 30th March which will also mark the beginning of British Summer Time.

As we look forward to spring, we wish everyone every blessing for 2014 and our thoughts and prayers are with those of us who are contending with ill-health.

Friendship lunches will continue at The Globe and will be on Wednesdays 26th February and 26th March. Our thanks to Karen and staff for their constant hospitality - we are about to embark on our fifteenth year!

Mary Tucker

Due to the atrocious weather on the evening of the Carol Service, the toddlers from the School performed their carols in the church to a large gathering of parents. Their costumes and singing were a delight and how they managed to remember all the music is a tribute to the dedication, time and effort of the teaching staff at our school.

The Carol Service got underway with soloists Louis and Holly singing, unaccompanied, the first verse of Once in Royal David's City, and the first lesson read beautifully from the pulpit by Poppy and Melanie.

The service continued with the singing of popular carols.

The school choir performed a beautiful carol sung in both French and English, the first time the choir has sung in a foreign language and they received well deserved applause from the congregation. Our choir then sang two carols, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem and a joyful rendering of Malcolm Archer's A Child is Born in Bethlehem.

Then it was the turn of the school choir who sang two Christmas songs, the last, Bells Ring Out, was superbly sung with ability and fun which brought rapturous applause from everyone in the church.

How hard the school choir has worked to sing with such quality and style and again many congratulations and thanks to all those teachers who have put in so much time behind the scenes.

The final carol, O Come All Ye Faithful, was a rousing finale and the evening ended with mulled wine and mince pies!

Thanks to the Rector for leading the Service and to all those helpers who contributed to a memorable evening.


. . . and many thanks to Stuart for all his effort and dedication to the great music enjoyed in our church.


Mike Hancock


Thanks again to Mike for another Christmas Crossword and for providing a prize, and thank you to all who sent in entries. The winner is Janet Gibbins from Coastguard Cottages. Congratulations Janet!




If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by silent dust and weep.
For my sake, turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete the dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you!
Mary Lee Hall

[3.4.1911 - 29.11.2013]

Villagers were sorry to learn that Pip's father, Cecil Hodkinson, had died on the 29th November and our thoughts are with Pip, Tony and all his family at this time of sorrow.

It is sad to report the death of Berynarbor's oldest resident, Cecil of Philton House, Barton Lane.

Cecil lived in the village for 13 years and despite some lack of mobility after a stroke, was very independent and still looking after himself virtually unaided long after reaching the 100 year milestone. He moved to Edenmore Nursing Home in Ilfracombe in late October following hospitalisation after some falls, which unfortunately seemed to have knocked the stuffing out of him and his health declined rapidly and he sadly died in Edenmore at the end of November at the grand old age of 102. Thankfully he did not suffer any pain or prolonged illness and died peacefully in sleep after a long, constructive life.

Pip, Tony and family would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and condolences at this time of sadness.


It was with sadness we learnt that Fred, formerly of Devon Cottage, Hagginton Hill, had sadly passed away after a prolonged illness on the 22nd November. Fred and Linda had many happy years in Berrynarbor, all the memories of which are cherished. Our thoughts are with Linda, their three children and five grandchildren at this time of sorrow.




The beginning of November was very wet and windy with a maximum gust of wind of 40 knots on the 2nd and a wind chill of -3 Deg C on the 4th.

By the 9th we had recorded 80mm of rain, then we flew off to sunnier climes returning on the 6th December. Most of the records, therefore, are for the two months combined. The total rain was 318mm, the maximum temperature was 15 Deg C with a minimum of -0.1 Deg C and there was a wind chill of -8 Deg C on the 24th December. Between our return from holiday and the end of the year we recorded nine gales or storms, it felt as though we had come back in the middle of the hurricane season! The barometric pressure was below 1014mb most of the time and on the 23rd December it dropped to 976mb. We did, however, fare better here than in South Devon and other parts of the country.

The recorded 19.06 hours of sunshine in November was actually more than in the previous three years and in December there were 6.42 hours which was also up on 2012 and 2013.

Despite the terrible weather in December 2013 it was a dry year with a total of only 1070mm which made it the third driest year we have recorded after 2006 and 2010. The maximum temperature was 28.9 Deg C, the minimum was -2.7 Deg C and there was a wind chill of -20 Deg C on the 12th March. The barometric pressure peaked at 1037mb in November and troughed at 976mb in December.

As we write this the weather is still mild and very unsettled with yet more stormy weather forecast, at least we are past the shortest day and heading in the right direction.

We wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year (and some decent weather).

Illustration by: Peter Rothwell

Simon and Sue



F is for February but also Finance and once again the time has come to look at the financial situation of the Newsletter and its funds.

Funds at present are critical and need a desperate top up!

Last year's successful Activity Day will again be taking place, on Saturday 15th February and full details appear later in this issue. A Nearly New and Jumble Sale has also kindly been arranged to help swell the coffers, and this takes place on Saturday, 8th March and again you will find details later. So, please make a note of these dates and drop in to the Manor Hall to make these events a success.

Although costs have continued to rise over the last year, the subscription for postal readers for the coming year will remain the same at £6.00 [February to December, inclusive]. Although the Newsletter is technically a 'freebie', the postal rate only covers the cost of postage and stationery, so it is very much hoped that those readers will include a donation to help keep the Newsletter out of the red!

This plea also applies to readers who receive their copy with their paper, or collect a copy from the Shop, Globe or Sawmill Inn.

With all the increasing costs involved in producing the Newsletter - our Printer, my stationery, printing inks, telephone, petrol, etc., [but not my time!] - the cost of a single newsletter amounts to approximately £1.40. It is only by kind and generous donations from all readers that it can continue. However, I must thank you all for your past donations as well as the continued financial support of the Parish and Parochial Church Councils.

Some postal subscriptions have now run out and if you are someone to whom this applies, a letter is enclosed with your Newsletter.

My thanks to Sue's of Combe Martin and our paperboys, Terry and Mick, who deliver copies with the newspapers, the Shop, The Globe and the Sawmill Inn for having copies available and for collecting donations.

Judie - Editor



Many thanks to all those people who ordered their Berrynarbor Christmas trees through the village shop thus supporting their local community. Next year the shop will be taking orders from an earlier date and there will be the opportunity to purchase even bigger trees!

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Easter Barton

The Berrynarbor Toddler group would like to say a big thank you to Songbird for making our new toy cupboard in the Bassett Room so well and so swiftly.

Happy New Year Gary from the "Smalls"


Artwork: Harry Weedon



This winter is proving to be very stormy and wet although the temperatures have so far not been too cold and the pansies and cyclamen have been flowering well in the planters around the village. Shortly the daffodils will be cheering us all up and the days lengthening. Spring is just around the corner and we will be holding our first meeting of the year on February 25th at 7.30 in the Globe. Please try to come along and support us as we are always looking out for help and new ideas. We will again be taking the hanging baskets over to Georgeham to be filled and you are welcome to join this scheme, just let me know Tel. Wendy on 883170. This coming year we hope to have Berrynarbor open gardens again.

Wendy Applegate


Artwork: Angela Bartlett

Are you trying to eat a bit healthier after the excess of Christmas and New Year? Well this could be the recipe for satisfying your sweet tooth without feeling too guilty.

Oaty fruit bars [makes 12 bars]

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 150g golden syrup 100g dried apricots
  • 100g dried figs 50g dates
  • 350g oats 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds

(If you want you can substitute the seeds for chopped nuts or the figs for example for dried cherries or cranberries)

Pre-heat oven to 160 Deg C, fan 140 Deg C, gas mark 3

Line a 20cm square loose based baking tin with baking paper. In a large pan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup together over a gentle heat. Let the mixture bubble and reduce for about 5 minutes until thickened and syrupy.

Meanwhile roughly chop the fruit but keep separate. Combine the oats and seeds in a large bowl and pour the hot syrup over and stir well. Press half the oat/seed mixture into the tin then spread the fruit mix over and then use the remaining half of the oat/seed mix to top the fruit. Smooth over and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and starting to firm around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes then cut into 12 squares while still warm. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Well perhaps a good brisk walk should precede these to make them healthy!

Wendy Applegate

    "I tried the Christmas Chutney recipe in the last edition. Absolutely delicious and when it was slowly cooking on the Rayburn the aroma filled the whole bungalow with the smell of Christmas cooking.  I'm going to make double for this year."

    Sue Squire



News for 2014

Advance Notice: Coffee Morning and Easter Fayre Saturday 19th April 2014

Categories for the following groups are as follows:

Floral Art:

  1. Take 3 glasses 16" x 16" x 18" high
  2. 1914 in Memoriam 16" x 16" x 18" high
  3. Junkyard 18" x 18" x 24"
  4. War Medal - miniature 6" x 6" x 6"


  1. Sunrise or Sunset
  2. Stormy seashore
  3. Garden life
  4. Painted item on any surface other than paper, card or canvas, e.g. glass, pottery, stone, wood, slate etc. Any subject.

Maximum size for all classes must not exceed A3 (297mm x 420mm)


  1. Reflections
  2. Animals at play
  3. Watersports
  4. Flowers
  5. Farm Life
  6. Anything goes
  7. Stormy Seas [humorous] may be enhanced in any way

Photographs must be maximum 5 x 8 to be affixed to white card or paper size A5 for display purposes. Entries limited to 2 photographs per class.



Drop in to the Manor Hall any time from 10.30 a.m. onwards on


A flower arrangement with a twist £5.00

Make sugar-paste decorations for a cake £4.00

Make a stained glass panel from ready-cut glass. Do your own soldering or Lani will do it for you, and take home a piece of work worth £20.00!

Make a card (with envelope) for that special occasion £2.50

Decorative painted objects from £2.50

FELTING PICTURES with SARAH from £3.00 depending on size

So come empty handed but with a pocketful of money!

Entry £2.50 to include either Morning Coffee or Afternoon Tea
Lasagne Lunch £4.00, Soup £3.50

  • The day will be open to EVERYONE, children, parents and grandparents!
  • Take part in one or more or even all activities.
  • Start any craft at any time - each can take approximately an hour or just as long as you want.
If you don't feel like making something, please come along and enjoy a Coffee, Lunch or Tea, see what everyone is up to, join in the Raffle and support the Newsletter.


Proceeds for the Berrynarbor Newsletter




Happy new year to all our families and friends! We must say a huge thank you to all who attended the bingo night at the end of November. A massive £300 profit was made to be split between School and Pre-school. We are hoping to hold another bingo night just before Easter, look out for the posters and tell all your friends what a good time you had at the last one!

We continue to raise funds for our outdoor classroom project. We are holding a Jumble Sale on 1st March and are looking for donations of clothes, CDs, DVDs, soft toys, shoes, handbags, belts - basically all textiles, not including duvets! Also being collected are old mobile phones, used printer ink cartridges and any unwanted jewellery. Anything not sold on the day will be recycled through Ragbag [textiles], Music Magpie [CDs and DVDs], Empties Please [ink] and O2 [mobiles]. Donations will be gratefully received in the week before the 1st March.

Finally, Pre-school is delighted to announce that we are now open on a Friday afternoon! Opening hours are 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 8.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Natalie Stanbury - Chairperson [882252]


Bread and Circuses "Wot? No fish!!"
Manor Hall
Saturday 8th February 2014.

Do join us for another fabulous Beaford Arts show on Saturday, Sth February 2014. Bread and Circuses "Wot? No Fishl!" is a delightful heart-warming, true tale of love, art, history and . . . catering.

This one man show premiered to critical acclaim at last year's Edinburgh Fringe and takes the audience on a captivating journey in the life of Ab and Celie. Written and performed by Danny Braverman, Ab Solomans was his great uncle, who brought home his wage packet every week and, as a token of his love for Celie, would doodle on it. Via these intimate cartoons we are led through their lives, from the 20's to the '80's, a chronicle of an ordinary couple - their ups and downs, the good and the bad times.

Full of humour, a delightful and transporting evening, suitable for all ages, awaits you. Right on your doorstep and prior to its international tour, you would be mad to miss it . . . and all for just £7.50!



Either black or white, i.e. rain or snow. On the other hand, a rhyming weather calendar says:

    January brings the snow, Makes our face and fingers glow.
    February brings the rain, Thaws the frozen dykes again.

So, as our weather is unpredictable anyway, expect the worst and hope for the best.


P.S. Simon and Sue will no doubt tell us what really happened in the next issue!


Sara Coleridge

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen dykes again.

March brings breezes, loud and shrill.
To stir the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lillies, roses,
Fills the children's hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Fresh October brings the pheasant,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Chill December brings the sleet
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

Sara Coleridge [1802-1852], an English author and translator, was the third child of Samuel Coleridge Taylor and his wife Sarah.

She married her cousin Henry Nelson Coleridge with whom she had four children, but only two survived, her son Herbert and daughter Edith.

Flanders and Swann, the English comedy duo, performed their musical revues, 'At the Drop of a Hat and 'At the Drop of another Hat' in London's West End in the late 1950's and '60's. Michael Flanders, actor and singer, and Donald Swann, composer, pianist and linguist, collaborated on many comic songs - The Gnu and the Hippopotamus Song, 'Mud, mud, glorious Mud', as well as a variation on Sara Coleridge's 1834 rhyme on weather:

January brings the snow
Makes your feet and fingers glow.
February's Ice and sleet
Freeze the toes right off your feet.
Welcome March with wintry wind
Would thou wer't not so unkind.
April brings the sweet spring showers
On and on for hours and hours.
Farmers fear unkindly May
Frost by night and hail by day.
June just rains and never stops
Thirty days and spoils the crops.
In July the sun is hot
Is it shining? No, it's not.
August cold, and dank, and wet
Brings more rain than any yet.
Bleak September's mist and mud
Is enough to chill the blood.
Then October adds a gale
Wind and slush and rain and hail.
Dark November brings the fog
Should not do it to a dog.
Freezing wet December then:
B----y January again!

Michael Flanders


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


This four miniature view card was published by The Pictorial Stationery Co. Ltd. of London under their Peacock Brand Autochrom Postcards c1904.

The first view is of Ilfracombe, Torrs Walk and the Cafe that was then on top, and note the chocolate bar dispensing machine in the centre.

The second view is of Ilfracombe Holy Trinity Parish Church and a gentleman on horseback coming down church Hill.

The third is Donkeys at Watermouth. These are the donkeys kept by Betsy Leworthy* near the centre of the village and walked daily into Ilfracombe to pick up visitors and take them for rides to Lee or Watermouth. Betsy can be seen standing between the two donkeys on the far right. She was hard working all her life and as well as managing the donkeys, was the village coal merchant at the turn of the century. Coal would be brought by sailing brig into Watermouth Cove at high tide and directly the tide ran out, horse and carts from the village would run up and down loading the coal and then unloading at Betsy's Coal Store, opposite The Globe, for redistribution. Betsy was born c1840 and married John Leworthy, the village blacksmith about 1851. They had many children but sadly, in those days, the mortality rate was high and five of their children died between the age of 11 months and 5 years. Her tomb stone records: Beloved children of John and Betsy Leworthy safe in the arms of Jesus. Betsy died on the 31st March 1912 aged 72, a great loss and sadly missed by the entire village. Her husband died three years later in January 1915 aged 74 years.

The fourth view is of the Thatched Cottage at Chambercombe, Ilfracombe. This started as a private residence but later became a popular public house, known as Chambercombe Cottage, the Hermitage and now the Thatched Inn.

*Grandmother of Annie Leworthy, 1897, who died aged 92 on 22.09.1989, and remembered by many villagers.

Tom Bartlett
Tower Cottage, January 2014
: tomandinge40@gmail.com




A representative from the Environment Agency gave a talk regarding a flood plan for Berrynarbor.  Initially it involves calling a meeting of interested people to compile a draft plan, trying out a 'dry run' and keeping it up to date.

The Police would appreciate assistance from anyone who can help with the poaching problem which is extensive at the present time, with particular concern about firearms shooting at night.

Details of the decision made by Devon County Council Public Rights of Way Committee who met in November who, among other items, made a decision not to make a Modification Order to the Definitive Map in respect of Proposal 3.

Reports were received from County Councillor Mrs Andrea Davis and Councillor Mrs Lorna Bowden on behalf of the Manor Hall Management Committee.

The state of roads and paths around the Parish were discussed.

A number of items under Matters Arising were discussed and progressed.

6 Planning Applications were considered.

Under Finance, payments were approved and Tenders awarded for the 2014/15 season in respect of Grass Cutting and maintenance of seats, bus shelters and garden maintenance.

The 2014/15 Budget was set and approved and also the Precept which is to remain unchanged at £14,980.00.

Since the Meeting, we have heard the very sad news that Councillor Gary Marshall lost his fight against cancer on the day of the December Meeting.  We have lost an excellent Councillor who always had a balanced view of things, was always kind, courteous - a true gentleman.  Councillor Dave Richards and I represented the Parish Council at Gary's funeral at St Brannock's Church, Braunton, on Monday 23rd December.  

At the January meeting, Councillors, Clerk and members of the public stood in silence to the memory of the late Councillor Gary Marshall who died on 10 December.  The Clerk brought the Order of Service for members to see and the Chairman invited her to give a short account of the service.

Reports were received from PCSO A. Drury, County Councillor Andrea Davis and District Councillors Julia Clark and Yvette Gubb.

Councillor Linda Thomas reported on a meeting held with a North Devon Council officer regarding Berynarbor's car park. Councillors agreed that it should remain in the ownership of the North Devon Council.

There were no planning applications to consider.  Approval notices had been received for Forge Cottage and Hawksridge.

A number of items were discussed under Matters Arising.  Certain highways work could not be carried out due to budgetary constraints and Councillor Steve Hill gave an update regarding the Emergency Plan.

Under Finance, various payments were authorised including a donation to the Citizens Advice Bureau.  The Clerk reported she had arranged for a change in supplier for electricity to the public toilets after a better deal had been identified.

Sue Squire - Clerk to the Parish Council



Happy New Year everyone!

After such a busy half term in the build up to Christmas, the children enjoyed a fun filled two week break! Hopefully not too many were affected by the dreadful bugs that have been doing the rounds.

Senior Dudes Meal - Well done Mrs Lucas, Elderberry Class really rose to the occasion again this year! They worked very hard all day preparing everything from vegetables down to making the stuffing and cranberry sauce. The adults thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the children finished off the evening by singing carols beautifully. A lovely evening was had by all.

Rosemoor Trip - Whilst Class 4 prepared for their Senior Dudes Meal the rest of the school enjoyed a trip to RHS Rosemoor. Despite the weather the children had a great day looking around the gardens. The younger children took part in an educational activity 'natural sculptures', whilst the older children did 'discover your tree'. We'd like to say a big thank you to the PTA for funding the transport for this trip.

Strawberry & Cranberry Class Nativity - The children in Strawberry and Cranberry Classes performed their Nativity play 'The Nativity' in the Manor Hall on Friday 13th. The whole school, joined by the preschool, saw the performance in the morning, followed by their big performance to their parents and families in the afternoon. It was a great success and all the children sang and performed beautifully - a credit to Mrs. Wellings' hard work!

Village Carol Service - Well done to the infants who performed their nativity play 'The Nativity'. The weather did not put us off and the show carried on in the church! This was followed by the village Carol Service, where the school Choir accompanied the Church Choir. It was a lovely evening with a wonderful Christmassy atmosphere.

This term Strawberry and Cranberry Classes' topic is Barnaby Bear goes to China. Blueberry Class are learning the difference between Rural and Urban areas and Elderberry Class are studying the science of bread.

Sue Carey - Headteacher



'Wine is the thinking person's health drink'

Dr Phillip Norrie

Our November meeting was too late for inclusion in the pre-Christmas Newsletter, so I reflect on two gatherings, in December, for the first of 2014's Newsletters. This month is a social month - many of us will be tippling a glass of champagne, or a red or white and perhaps more than our usual, so I thought Dr Norrie's statement would bring comfort to us all!

We certainly tipped a few with Jonathan Coulthard in November. Our usual tastings are 6, but he provided 8 wines from the Duras area. He is a producer-grower in the smallest appellation: Cotes de Duras AOC, in the Department of Lot et Garonne, in the region of Aquitaine, but it was one of the first: 1937. The town of Duras is close to Bergerac and Bordeaux.

All wine was produced 'en famille': in vineyards privately owned, generally by more than 1 generation. They all seemed to meet with approval and, annoyingly, 7 were less than €10, but French duty is only 3 cents! The penultimate was a sweet wine - 80% Semillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadet, but this was €25.50. His own award-winning red: Chateau Terra finished the evening. Another inclusion was a 14%, €5 Merlot, 2009. This was Domaine de Grande Mayne. Jonathan described it as coming from a 'progressive vineyard' and was where he gained his work experience having trained at Plumpton College.

Plumpton in East Sussex, as a matter of interest, specialises in 'land-based courses', and is a 'Centre of Excellence in wine education'. It is the only Higher Education Institute to offer undergraduate degrees in Wine Business and Production in English in Europe.

As another point of interest, a red and a white wine from his vineyard are now stock items in our village shop. His next visit may be next year, so you need not wait for this to be able to sample some good French wine, made from hand-picked grapes only.

Good cheer, good food and wine were enjoyed by 52 members and friends, exactly 2 weeks before Christmas Day. 'Committee's Choice' was presented by 6 of our 7 committee members. We began with 'bubbles': a Cava, that used to be termed 'Spanish Champagne', a Viognier and a delicious Sancerre. These were followed by 2 Merlots and the question was 'Which is better?' The answer was lost in the conviviality! We ended our evening with a superb 9-year-old Claret. This was the dearest at £15.99, but less £3 each if 2 purchased, the Merlots were at the other end of the scale at £6.99. All were purchased through Barnstaple's Majestic.

Sampling a few mouthfuls of a variety of wines at the Circle is a wonderful way to taste and discover. Our meetings provide an excellent opportunity to sample wines and avoid the situation of buying something, for a special occasion, and then realising that you don't like it! I have realised that, usually, during our 8-meeting season, we get to sample 48 wines and all for an annual fee of £5 per head and an evening charge of £6 per individual that covers wine expenditure.

As far as I'm concerned, our winter months can't be over soon enough and without its festive gatherings and occasional blue-sky days, it would be even more of a lacklustre season. Thankfully, our excellent Christmas meeting is followed by another: January's 'Call My Wine Bluff '. These have been running since 2007 and are always a tremendous hit with our members.

Seven teams pitted their wits against the descriptions delivered by Geoff Adam, our able Chairman Tony Summers and John Thorndycroft. All six wines, foil-clad, were given three plausible descriptions and, therefore, Tony said, their night of words could be summarised by a famous Eric Morecombe quote: 'I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!'

Our wines came from France, Germany, Spain and Australia; other whines came from the floor and were again clarified by Tony: 'it was interesting to hear the moans and groans when answers were wrong and the cheers when teams were right!' The quintet winners, 'Famous Five', each walked away with a Spanish 'Reserva'.

Judith Adam - Secretary & Promotional Co-ordinator


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


In search of the Snow Leopard

So as 2014 begins to roll, decided yet where you are going for a holiday this year if you can get away? Maybe circumstances or money [or both] won't allow for that, but nice to have a break if we can, even if only for a few days.

I am as yet undecided where my next trek will be. In the brochure of my regular travel company [which I cannot name as this will constitute advertising], there is an intriguing trek in the Himalayas I might well end up pursuing. In search of the snow leopard is the name of the trek.

My word it looks exciting, though the downside is camping in sub-zero temperatures which doesn't appeal so much these days! In fact, my hands and feet begin to chill at the thought of it. Nevertheless, the lure is there. Snow leopards are one of the world's most elusive mammals. After a few days acclimatising in little Tibet, the trek takes you into the heart of the mountains of the far north of India in search of this magnificent animal.

There are dreams we never grasp. I heard of an artist who wanted to sculpt an image of a snow leopard. His dream took him to Siberia one winter and there he waited and waited. With rapt attention he waited. For nearly two weeks he waited. But locals were quite clear. "A sighting is only in the gift of the snow leopard!." Two days before the end of his stay, his attention was rewarded. There on the snow bank stood a leopard gazing at him, allowing him to photograph before he disappeared into the white blanket that covered the trees. The artist returned to the spot several more times, secretly glad that he didn't see it again - it wouldn't be the same!

There is a parallel here with a journey into faith. The sighting of God is in the gift of God. We must, I believe, search for God and have a willingness to go and see and try to discover. The All-seeing identity will surely reveal himself to you as you let go of your pre-conceived notions.

Mind you, we have to be in the right frame of mind. There are soft moments when we glimpse the heart of things if intentionally we are open to an encounter that in turn opens us to new possibility.

On this sort of subject, I should like very much to have discussions with local people about your own journey and what you think deep down about life and faith. We will try to arrange a coffee morning in the next few weeks but do have a word if you would welcome such a discussion. Maybe life until now has been a bit of a trek!

So back to my brochure . . .

With very best wishes for 2014,

Rev Chris


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


Important news about the Manor Hall

Our new governance document has finally been accepted by the Charity Commission, which is great news as we now look a bit more fit for purpose, which will be important for external fund raising. And we shall be seeking substantial funds given the way a host of problems are coming to light . . .

Following on from the recent survey, the condition of the manor house roof now requires further remedial specification from structural engineers due to the movement of the rafters over time, and damage by woodworm. We have therefore been selecting appropriate consultants and timber treatment specialists, and organising a new loft access point into the old roof from the Men's Institute main room.

If this wasn't enough we have also discovered extensive wet rot under the stage in the main hall, due to extreme wetness in this area and poor ventilation under the floor. All of this is on top of the other works needed to the original masonry to the old manor house, the replacement heater to the main hall, and a number of other maintenance items. It really does feel that chickens have come home to roost and we are paying for many years of minimal maintenance.

We are not yet at the stage of putting a total cost together for all the work but the support of the village as a whole will soon be needed to help overcome perhaps the biggest set of challenges since the main hall was built a hundred years ago. This is not the centenary celebratory news that we wanted to share for 2014, but then again it will be a time for some centenary fund raising to protect and preserve this unique building.

Look out for further news over the next few months. Your support will be much appreciated.

Len Narborough
The Manor Hall Committee


Artwork: Paul Swailes


Thank you to everyone for your support of the Shop at Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

We now have a wonderful selection of cards and there will be special ones for Valentine's Day, so why not buy a box of chocolate as well to give your loved one!

With various events taking place in the next couple of months, don't forget that tickets are available from the Shop where you can also buy your Lottery Tickets.   'You gotta be in it to win it'!

 We shall be stocking an exciting new range of Sausages from Yetland Farm [you may have tasted them at Local Farmers Markets] from the end of January.

Look out for New Wines on the shelves from our new local wine merchant.

Just a reminder to all the gardeners in the village to start thinking about growing seedlings for the Annual Village Plant and Craft Sale fundraiser for the Shop. Donations of unwanted garden tools and gardening bits and bobs would be very welcome and can be left at the shop!


Artwork: Angela Bartlett


Do you remember Spike Milligan singing "I'm walking backwards for Christmas"? Well the true story I'm about to relate worked just that way!

At the time when my mother lived in a bungalow at Billericay, most of the area - like so much of Berrynarbor - was either cesspit or septic tank drainage.

Fortunately for the residents, the local council put in main drains in all the roads and my mother, after getting the necessary planning and building approval, proceeded to find a small building firm to dig up her drive, lay the drains and make the necessary connection.

The builder was Fred White and his two sons, Brian and Jack.

"Where would you like us to make the trench?" Fred enquired.

"Well," my mother replied, "I think it a good idea if you take up the slab path leading up the drive and around the back."

"OK, we'll get right on with it." and Mr. White instructed his sons accordingly.

The slabs up the front drive were all taken up and stacked and then they began taking up those at the back of the bungalow.

The lads had taken up quite a number when Jack suddenly shouted to Brian, "Don't step forward with that slab, just do as I say and step back." Brian did as he was told and luckily for him, he did!

The slab had been covering a well and had he stepped forward he would have stepped straight into it, probably with the slab on top of him.

On examination, the well proved to be barrel shaped and quite large. The back wall of the bungalow had been built partly over it. Mr. White and his boys filled in the well with rubble before finishing the job.

Many years later, after my mother had moved, the bungalow was pulled down and a pair of houses built on the site, probably over the well as well!


Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket


Snowdrop Sundays and Workshop

The Gardens and Tea Room will be open on Sundays 16th and 23rd February, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Garden entry £4.00, Children under 12 and Season Ticket holders free.

Local Artist, Christine Grafton will be holding painting workshop sessions in both the morning and aflernoon. £15 per session to include entry to the Gardens, Workshop and Materials and home-made Soup Lunch. Booking for Workshop essential. Ring 01271 342528 or e-mail marwoodgardens@btconnect.com to book or for further information.

The Gardens, Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre will reopen fully on Saturday, 15th March, 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m



In 2012 we achieved a long held ambition to travel on the Royal Mail Ship St. Helena (known affectionately as the R.M.S.) which is a small passenger cargo ship servicing St. Helena, Ascension and occasionally Tristan da Cunha. On that voyage she did not call at Tristan so we decided to try for the next visit she made and were fortunate enough to go last November.

The Archipelago of Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory lying approximately 1750 miles from South Africa and 2100 miles from South America, It has no airport and is only accessible by sea. The group of islands, of which Tristan is the main island, is made up of Inaccessible, Nightingale, Middle, Stoltenhoff and the most Southerly Gough which is approximately 40 Deg S and 10 Deg W. This is uninhabited apart from scientists who stay there for about twelve months at a time running the weather station.

In 1961 some of you may remember volcanic action on Tristan forced the inhabitants of the only settlement to leave in a hurry. They evacuated to Nightingale Island about 20 miles away in small open boats and were then rescued and brought back to the UK via South Africa. The following year a Royal Society expedition went back and found little damage to the settlement known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, although the harbour landing and fish factory had been destroyed. In 1963 most of the families returned to their tiny island.

We flew to Cape Town where we spent a few nights before joining the ship to start our passage. Unbeknown to us this was going to be a special trip as it was the 200th voyage of the R.M.S. and the 50th anniversary of the return of the islanders to their homes. Before heading to Tristan, therefore, we were first taken south on a circumnavigation of Gough Island.

Landing at Tristan is often impossible as ships anchor off and passengers are transferred ten at a time to small R.I.B's which, due to the sea conditions, is often very hazardous. The Captain assured us that he would do everything he could to get us ashore even if it meant passengers having to board the R.I.B's via the pilot's rope ladder (only the more agile would be allowed to attempt this). In the event we were incredibly fortunate and were able to get ashore on two days though it was quite interesting in the sizeable swell.

The Island is very impressive with a summit rising to 6760 feet and the settlement where everyone lives is on a relatively small plateau between the mountain and the sea. There are less than 270 residents, mostly descended from settlers from passing and wrecked ships and there are only seven surnames making up the population of the island.

We were landed at the small harbour named Calshot (after the Hampshire village which housed the Tristonians between 1961 and 1963). Lining the harbour wall are the small open fishing boats which are used to catch crayfish. Because the weather conditions can change so quickly these are craned out at the end of every fishing trip and stand on trailers. One of the main incomes for the island comes from the fish factory which processes the crayfish for export. They have a quota of 150 tons a year which provides about 30 days fishing a year. Fishing days are weather dependent, the head fisherman decides if the day is suitable and summons the rest of the men by striking an old gas cylinder with a large hammer!

As well as the fish factory the island has a small supermarket, Island stores for the tradesman requirements, Administrators office, communications, police, post office (which deals with the sales of the much sought after stamps and coins from the island), outdoor swimming pool, and of course The Albatross Bar. The Gomogli hospital can handle simpler things but more serious cases and all expectant mums have to go to Cape Town as there is currently no incubator. The settlement bungalows with their different coloured roofs and paint work are bright and cheerful and there are two Churches, St. Mary's Anglican and St. Joseph's R. C. and several graveyards. There is also what must be one of the most testing golf courses with cattle and cowpats among the hazards. In the middle of it are several small huts housing the atomic monitoring station (C.T.B.T.O.) with associated satellite dishes.

At the back of the settlement is the volcano which erupted in 1961, from the top there is a good view of Edinburgh and at the base there is the Thatched House Museum which was built recently by a few of the older islanders to recreate an original dwelling using authentic methods and materials.

The Islanders have a challenging life with only modest income. They keep cattle and sheep but because of the limited grazing are restricted to two milking cows and their offspring (which have to be killed every three years) per family and two sheep per person. The bulls appear to be communal and there are plenty of chickens and ducks. They also grow potatoes and vegetables in an area called the Potato Patches about a mile and a half from the settlement. Each islander has a patch roughly the size of an allotment and most have a small shed with a stove where they spend weekends and Christmas. When ships come in the islanders also open their homes to visitors to provide a bit more income. They do have access to the internet and are able to shop online but deliveries can take several months, so things like Christmas presents have to be planned early.

They are very friendly people and love their island despite its hardships and inconveniences and it was a fascinating place to visit. Tristan da Cuhna has a good website for anyone interested.

As I write this weather forecasters are already warning of a wet start to 2014. All of us who use the roads will know that means - Potholes - one of the blights of the pneumatic tyre. If any readers are still using the solid tyres I should imagine they are lasting well, although you are probably suffering with some form of back ailment! For the rest of us it is worth taking a couple of minutes to check over our tyres reasonably regularly. Tyre pressures for example mean that many people get only half the potential life from their tyres simply because they are underinflated and wear unevenly.

It is all too easy to miss seeing potholes - especially in the dark. I should know - I've run into one damaging both my tyre and rim on my car. You may be surprised to know that you can make a claim against Devon Highways for that damage - again something I did, successfully, within the last couple of years. Reporting defects or enquiring about a claim can be done by logging on to www. devon.gov.uk /road maintenance, or alternatively ringing 0845 155 1004, which I found to be the easier way of reporting. Just make sure you have as exact a location as possible with map ref. if able. A claim will only be considered if the pothole had been reported to Highways prior to the damage. That's why it's so important to get them reported as soon as possible.



Sue and Simon


Why do they jump into our path without warning!

As I write this weather forecasters are already warning of a wet start to 2014. All of us who use the roads will know that means - Potholes - one of the blights of the pneumatic tyre. If any readers are still using the solid tyres I should imagine they are lasting well, although you are probably suffering with some form of back ailment! For the rest of us it is worth taking a couple of minutes to check over our tyres reasonably regularly. Tyre pressures for example mean that many people get only half the potential life from their tyres simply because they are underinflated and wear unevenly.

It is all too easy to miss seeing potholes - especially in the dark. I should know - I've run into one damaging both my tyre and rim on my car. You may be surprised to know that you can make a claim against Devon Highways for that damage - again something I did, successfully, within the last couple of years. Reporting defects or enquiring about a claim can be done by logging on to www. devon.gov.uk /road maintenance, or alternatively ringing 0845 155 1004, which I found to be the easier way of reporting. Just make sure you have as exact a location as possible with map ref. if able. A claim will only be considered if the pothole had been reported to Highways prior to the damage. That's why it's so important to get them reported as soon as possible.

As a retired police biker now running my own safer riding business aimed at both the seasoned rider as well as those who have recently joined the ranks of the powered two wheelers, I hear regularly about the state of the county's roads. Riding can be hazardous at the best of times but potholes can make some roads a real obstacle course.

This being the case I should politely ask those other road users out there, that when passing motorcycles, take a moment to think about how difficult it can be on two wheels to negotiate surface water, debris and whatever else may lie in our paths as we go about our business. Don't forget there are many who have no option but to ride in all seasons.

Anyone interested in taking advanced /safer riding tuition please log on to www.revolutionbiketraining.co.uk or ring and leave details on 0843 289 3529

Paul White - Barton Lane



With the new year just beginning, now is the perfect opportunity to try something different. At Arlington we currently have around 180 volunteers who help us with various tasks throughout the year, but we're still in need of some more help. The amount of time given by each volunteer differs - some give a day a week to welcome visitors in the house or carriage museum, some just help with children's activities in the school holidays, whilst others offer time fortnightly driving the buggy or assisting the rangers.

In 2014 we have some exciting new roles on offer, with which we hope to create a new way of volunteering. One of these posts is an outdoor admin. assistant, who will help co-ordinate the paper work of the busy outdoor department, answer calls and support the team with general admin. duties. Another new exciting opportunity is a social and digital media volunteer to organise Twitter and Facebook posts for the property and format articles for the website. The great thing with all of these roles is that the time commitment can be flexible and the social and digital media post can even be done from home.

Other roles we're recruiting for include education rangers, gardeners, room guides, raffle ticket sellers, catering assistants and rangers. As well as the benefits of working in beautiful surroundings, being part of a friendly diverse team and meeting interesting new people, National Trust volunteers can qualify for free entry to all National Trust sites and 20% discount in NT shops, tea rooms and holidays after making a firm commitment and completing an initial 50 hours volunteering.

To find out more, please come to one of our volunteer recruitment days between 15th and 21st February from 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.

There will be a chance to find out more about the work on offer, chat to existing volunteers to discover what it's really like being a National Trust volunteer and explore Arlington. If you're unable to make the recruitment week or would like more information in advance, please contact Kate Christmas on 01271 851126.


North Devon Voluntary Services Ltd

Can you spare a few hours? Or can we help you? The Direct Services Project aims to provide volunteer Befriends, Gardeners, Wheelchair Escorts, Shoppers and Dog Walkers for people in need in lifracombe and surrounding areas.

01271 866300
Maggie@ndvs.org.uk - www.Do-it.org.uk
149 High Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 9EZ
Registered Charity No. 1133707



Solution in Article 35.


Artwork: Helen Weedon


The casual observer may regard the winter countryside as a slumber land; a land that has undressed its deciduous trees and hedges, leaving them naked and tucked up under blankets of rain clouds, frost or snow. Yet like the nocturnal sleeping human, the land's status does not remain stagnant. For just as a human body subconsciously makes subtle shifts in position whilst asleep, so the countryside makes modest alterations in accordance with the decrease or increase in daylight hours. These delicate changes go unnoticed in a pastoral panorama in winter and it is for this reason that I like to observe a rural view at this time of year with features that continually alter, namely a vast sky and tidal water. Such a scene can be appreciated by a farm gate along Pottery Lane, just above Yelland, where a field slopes steeply immediately beyond the gate. It is only to the left that one notices rising ground; a gentle rise that momentarily levels out before taking a subtle dip. This topography is then repeated beyond, the land repeatedly dipping and rising again - a reminder of how lucky we are to live in a region of soft rolling hills that bring pleasure to our eyes and offer tranquillity for our souls.

This is in contrast to the dramatic sloping ground both ahead and to my right, field's vast pasture eventually levelling where it meets its boundary hedge on the far side. From here on the ground stays even, ultimately becoming the flood plain for the Taw estuary. The estuary is a feature whose presence on the scene never stays still as a consequence of its lunar guidance. But today its master is invisible, the moon absent from any of the sky's blue punctures that are dotted above the vista. Instead it is the sun that directs visual proceedings, courtesy of one of the myriad of small shower clouds in the sky. Delicately decanting raindrops upon Lundy, the sun sends its beams through the shower and creates a sharp prism that vertically rises up from the island's flat and barren land; a land that, seen from a distance, impersonates a perfectly chiselled stone slab. The slab appears to sit upon welsh slate, such is the colour of the surrounding water. It is only when one looks closer to hand does one observe the maroon-grey liquid crossed by lines of white, some broken and others uninterrupted, created by the Bideford Bar. Its aggressive roar reflects recent stormy weather and overrides other noises afforded by distant sheep, nearby jackdaws and traffic on the estuary road. The never-silent Bar demonstrates the clash of personalities where the Taw and Torridge rivers meet. Watching this argument form the side-lines are the dunes of the Northam and Braunton Burrows respectively, both stretching out into the sea to sandwich the Bar.

Like the burrows, the remaining natural landscape is devoid of trees but for some clumps in the near distance and a wood of conifers sprawling across a far ridge. The barren rural portrait is enhanced by the unornamented peninsulas of Hartland Point and Baggy Point. It is therefore manmade structures that catch the one's eye whilst witnessing the blatant cloud transformations and the refined tidal fluctuations. One's visual radar espies at first the monstrous windmills upon Fullabrook Down; the urban sprawl of Braunton and Wrafton; rotating blades that elevate the air sea rescue helicopter up and away from Chivenor air base; the Lego-like low bridge crossing the River Caen at Velator Quay; the small industrial estate and modest oil refinery that lay adjacent to the site of the old Yelland Power Station; the unemployed jetty pointing into the water like a little finger daring to test the temperature; Crow Point's compressed lighthouse; the snug cottages of Appledore; and the insignificant pylons that blend with the green hills behind them to go almost unnoticed.

One feature, however, continually draws the eye whilst stood at the gate. It is a white building built into the cliffs that can be viewed from any high ground (and low ground along parts of the estuaries) surrounding the vast Barnstaple and Bideford Bay; a building that is an icon of the 1930's Art Deco period; a building that acts as a beacon in summer hazes, autumn mists, winter drizzle and spring sunshine - the Saunton Sands!

Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

Steve McCarthy



A Tragedy

The story goes, as I've heard said,
A man had his nose cut off from his head.
An operation was performed
But then t'was found he was deformed.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, deary me
Then it began to rain, you see.
His nose was on the wrong way round;
The rain came in and he was drowned.

A Tommy Handley song from ITMA - It's That Man Again], part of the BBC's contribution to keeping the nation cheerful during WWII.

Blow, blow, thou winter wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
-Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

William Shakespeare

Captain Stratton's Fancy

Oh some are fond of red wine, and some are fond of white,
And some are all for dancing by the pale moonlight;
But rum alone's the tipple, and the heart's delight
Of the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French,
And some'll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;
But I'm for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are for the lily, and some are for the rose,
But I am for the sugar-cane that in Jamaica grows;
For it's that that makes the bonny drink to warm my copper nose,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of fiddles, and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue;
But mouths were made for tankards, and for sucking at the bung,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are fond of dancing, and some are fond of dice,
And some are all for red lips, and pretty lasses' eyes;
But a right Jamaica puncheon is a finer prize
To the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some that's good and godly ones they hold that it's a sin
To troll the jolly bowl around, and let the dollars spin;
But I'm for toleration and for drinking at an inn,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
Oh some are sad and wretched folk that go in silken suits,
And there's a mort of wicked rogues that live in good reputes;
So I'm for drinking honestly, and dying in my boots,
Like an old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

John Masefield


John Edward Masefield, O.M. [1878 - 1967] was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and poems, including Sea-Fever and Cargoes.




"Never sacrifice excellence for mere popularity."

Joshua Reynolds

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA FRS FRSA [16 July 1723 - 23 February 1792] who was born in Devon, was an influential eighteenth-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first president of the Royal Academy, and was knighted by George Ill in 1769.

In early 2007, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery acquired 23 portraits from the Trustees of the Port Eliot Estate through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. The works have remained in situ at Port Eliot. The core of the acquisition is a group of 14 works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, one of Plymouth's most famous artists, with a further nine painted by some of his contemporaries.

If you are planning a day out, Port Elliot is well worth a visit. It is situated in the village of St. Germans, on the Rame Peninsular, South East Cornwall, not too far from Plymouth. The Round Room contains a mural painted by Robert Lenckiewicz, regarded as his masterpiece. It has to be seen to be believed!

Why not also visit nearby Mount Edgcumbe. This beautifully kept stately home [owned jointly by Plymouth City and Cornwall Councils] overlooks Plymouth Sound.









Our adopted puppies, Alfred and Amelia, are no longer puppies but now working dogs helping their partners to live more fulfilled and happy lives.

Both are doing well, Alfred assisting Daniel to do the shopping and socialise with friends, and Amelia helping Maureen from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night. Amelia says that she helps Maureen to dress and fetches clothes for her to put on, but she can't always guarantee that they will match - her fashion sense is not so good!

To learn more about what these incredible dogs achieve, do read their Christmas letters on the board in the Manor Hall or go to the website: caninepartners.org.uk.

To adopt Alfred and Amelia we send an annual sum to Canine Partners from money raised through the Newsletter and events such as coffee mornings and have done so now for more than four years.




Once again the Craft Group will be holding an afternoon of knitting and nattering to raise funds for the North Devon Hospice and invite you all to come and join them. We shall be holding Open House in the Manor Hall during the afternoon of Monday, 24th February from 2.00 p.m. onwards. Knitters, knitting strips for blankets for the Hospice, will only need some odd wool and size 8 needles and those who would just like to natter can pop in at any time during the afternoon for a chat, enjoy a coffee or tea and a cake and have a go at the raffle. All you would be asked for is a minimum donation to the Hospice of £5.00. Over the years the group, together with friends, has raised over £3,500 and probably half a mile of strips!

A reminder that the Craft Group meets every Monday afternoon in the Manor Hall, from 1.45 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Just come along and bring whatever you are currently working on - knitting, embroidery, beading, painting, etc. - chat amongst friends and enjoy tea or coffee and biscuits - chocolate ones are the favourite and very often birthdays are celebrated with delicious cakes. All this for just £2 a session!

Once a month, usually on the first Monday, Chris Grafton takes an art group alongside the craft group - again everyone is welcome. Come along and have a go, £5.00 a session.



[1802 - 9th February 1890]

London Print Publisher and "Barum's greatest Benefactor"

Last Christmas we had an unexpected and pleasant surprise from Tom - a copy of Barnstaple and Around Part II, the fourth in his Postcards of North Devon series. I'd only reached page 9 when a photo of a white-bearded man caught my eye: 'W. F. Rock Esq.', read the caption, 'Barnstaple's benefactor'. Who was he? I had to find out! This gentleman turned out to be a great 'Mover', both locally and in his adopted home.

William Frederick Rock was baptised on January 29th 1802 in Barnstaple's Parish Church of St Peter [hence the question mark over his actual birthday]. He was the oldest child of seven children born to Henry and Prudence Rock, although a boy and girl died as babies. Henry was a respected shoemaker, living above the shop at 46 High Street [demolished many years ago]. Money was tight, but the parents worked hard bringing up their family. Rock later wrote of his childhood:

Look on the canvas, happiness is the theme,
Content in humble life, and not a dream,
A youthful couple ply their lowly trade
Around the boots and shoes but lately made,
The well-formed mother rocks her cradled boy,
While piles of work her busy hands employ.

As a tradesman's son, William would normally have had only a basic education before being apprenticed. It is thought that he attended his grandmother's school in Newport. His father, however, became a freeman of the borough and therefore one of the few Barnstaple people entitled to vote. Consequently, he met William Busk, a parliamentary contestant who stayed briefly with the family and took an interest in nine-year old William, getting him a place at Christ's Hospital Bluecoat School in London in 1811.

He left school in January 1817. His first job, at Mr Ley's Bank in Bideford, came about through his bravery. A neighbour who worked in Barnstaple Bank had a son, a friend of William's, who fell into the River Taw and was pulled out, half drowned. The doctor asked for a volunteer to climb into the lad's bed to try to warm and revive him. William offered and although the boy died, his father never forgot his bravery and recommended him for the bank job. Rock's poetry was, however, his undoing as he was several times caught writing not working, So he left and returned to London, where another parliamentary candidate, Alderman Atkins, gave him a job at his bank.

He then worked for the printer and inventor Thomas de la Rue. Here he made enough money to set up his own business in London. Always a man devoted to his family, in 1833 his parents and sisters, Ann and Prudence, joined him. The sisters set up an Ornamental and Stationers shop in Greenwich.

His brother Henry became a partner in the new company, and in 1838, his youngest brother, Richard, also became a partner. They were joined by a trusted friend, John Payne and formed Rock Brothers and Payne. John later married Prudence, and their married life was spent living with William.

The company specialised in steel engraved views for cards, stationery, books and booklets became very successful and created a lot of wealth for the family.

William never married, and so with neither wife nor children to support, he decided to help both the place of his birth, and his adopted home.

In Greenwich, he was greatly respected and played an active role in public service. His long-term legacy was to found the Miller Hospital, named after Canon Miller for whom he had great respect. He and Prudence gave money towards founding the Hospital, and then gave annual subscriptions to finance it.

William Rock never returned to Barnstaple to live, although he kept in touch through J.R. Chanter, his 'man on the ground' and through letters to the North Devon Journal. His public benevolence, however, began in 1845 with the foundation of the Literary and Scientific Institute. In 1887, he bought the house on The Square, built for William Thorne15 years earlier [who it is said never lived there]. The following year he opened it to house a free library and museum: the North Devon Athenaeum. Here there were no separate reading rooms for men and women as he felt that it would only encourage the women to gossip! [As if they would..] It inherited the collections of the Literary and Scientific Institution and also became an unofficial collector of records.

Incidentally, in 1956 the Athenaeum shared the building with the local branch of the County Library Service and in 1988 North Devon District Council bought the building and re-housed both the Library and the Athenaeum in new premises in Tuly Street, where they remain to date. Rock's building is now the site for the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon, and Tourist Information.

In 1873 William bought up land next to Chanter's Green, a marshy area at the end of Litchdon Street and in 1879, just a year before his death it became Rock Park and Sports Ground. A granite obelisk at its entrance commemorates this gift, with an inscription that ends "It is hoped the public will protect what is intended for public enjoyment".

A letter in the North Devon Journal wrote in praise of his 'munificent gift' and called for another park the other side of Barnstaple, suggesting Lord Rolle might donate the land. As Peter Christie says in his fascinating book Sir - Letters to the Editor of the North Devon Journal 1824-1874 [available at the museum] 'It never happened, but wouldn't it have been marvellous to have had Rock and Rolle parks in the town?' Mortehoe also benefitted from his generosity when he founded the Convalescent Home.

Although his parents died in1846, the family stayed together. All 3 brothers had houses in Greenwich. Henry Rock died in 1868, Richard in 1870 and Prudence's husband, John in 1882. William and Prudence continued living together until his death on February 9th 1890 at the age of 88. Prudence died just a month later. They had shared a home for 64 years.

William was, by all accounts, a modest man and J.R. Chanter said of him that many people did not realise the full extent of his beneficences, but only a few knew the enormous sum he had spent on private benevolence.

William Rock let it be known that he preferred to be his own executor, distributing funds in his lifetime so that he could see the results of his work and this he surely did.

At the time of his funeral in London, shops and businesses in Barnstaple closed and a civic parade led hundreds of mourners to the Parish Church to remember 'Barum's greatest benefactor'. He was quite a man!

My grateful thanks to the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon for their help.

PP of DC



There was a long pause after the Great Fire of London in 1666 while the authorities looked about them for the best way to proceed with the rebuilding of London. St. Paul's Cathedral was just one of 87 churches which had been totally destroyed. Christopher Wren and other architects produced plans for new streets and buildings within days of the fire burning itself out but none was feasible without vast financial investment and draconian laws to enable the compulsory purchase of land.

Even with these problems resolved, there would have been a considerable delay before work could start; enormous amounts of materials had to be gathered together and specialist labour had to be recruited before London could commence the re-creation of some of its landmark buildings plus there was a niggling sea-based war with the Dutch to resolve first!

The years dragged by and it was not until 1670 that work began on the reconstruction of some, if not all, of the churches. Between 1670 and 1696 Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke designed and built 51 new churches. The last to be started, in 1675, was St. Paul's Cathedral, built  to a magnificent design by Wren which took until 1710 to fully complete although they were able to hold the first service there in 1697,

It was a massive project and every parish in the country was required to contribute towards the expense. The details of most [but not all] individual contributions were recorded and retained in the library of the Guildhall in London for centuries, providing a valuable record of names and, sometimes, even details of an individual's status within the community.

The record for the Parish of Berrynarbor and the amounts donated make interesting reading - several the names are still found locally today.

* John Berry [2s6d] was at that time Lord of the Manor, Dorothy [1s6d] his wife and Dorothy Parkham [2s] his mother-in-law.

** Henry Chichester of Shirwell [originally of Bittadon] who died c1705, was the father of 3 sons, Henry, Edward and Amias, all Cambridge Alumbni. Henry, [10s] who inherited a share in certain Ackland properties, possibly through his step-mother, was Rector of Berrynarbor from 1674 until his death in 1714. His son Edward was also Rector of Berrynarbor from 1714 to 1731, and Vicar of Northover.

The total amount contributed by Berrynarbor was £2.7s.01/2d.

It is difficult to equate today's prices with those of 1678, but the ten shillings Henry Chichester donated was a substantial amount.

Note the Bowden's - all related by many 'g's to Michael and his family.



'And all things draw toward St. Enodoc. Come on! Come on!'

John Betjeman

It was a sunny Sunday one September when we walked from Polzeath along the Camel Estuary to Trebetherick, to visit St. Enodoc church, half hidden amid the dunes.

The coast path took us along The Greenaway where former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman spent his childhood holidays. In 'Summoned by Bells', the blank verse autobiography of his early years, he describes gales slamming the bungalows and rattling the doors when 'enormous waves house-high rolled thunderous on Greenaway, flinging up spume and shingle to the cliffs.'

He recalled his fear of falling when climbing these steep, smooth cliffs, with only a narrow ledge to rest his feet and clutching a clump of sea pinks. The cliffs which had appeared so tremendous as a child but to the adult Betjeman seemed small.

From The Greenaway there are views across the estuary to Stepper Point and below, the beach where before breakfast he had 'run alone, monarch of miles of sand . . . and walked, where only gulls and oystercatchers had stepped before, to the water's edge.'

Here still were the shells, lumps of driftwood and heaps of bladderwrack like those observed by an Edwardian childhood more than a century ago.

We rounded Trebetherick Point to reach Daymer Bay, a popular beach sheltered by Brea Hill to the south and then on to the lane in 'whose ferny ramparts' were pennywort, toadflax, fennel and periwinkles. In his poem Betjeman referred to the honeysuckle hedge; mint around the spring; the coconut smell of gorse and the thyme scented links.

The lane ended abruptly and we followed a path for about a quarter of a mile to reach St. Enodoc surrounded by tamarisk and rabbits - and strangely, by golfers for the little church is on a golf course and it is necessary to keep a lookout for flying golf balls.

It was once known locally as 'sinkinny church', the sinking church after it had become buried in the sand, which had drifted against the walls and when the roof gave way the sand found its way inside too, so that entry could only be made through the roof.

Eventually the church was restored in 1864 when all the sand was removed and the Norman font recovered. There is a holy water stoop near the door and the remains of a fifteenth century carved screen between the chancel and the nave. Flanking the path to the church door are some medieval stone mortars once used for grinding corn.

St. Enodoc has a short thirteenth century tower bearing a leaning spire. It has a bell taken from an Italian ship wrecked off The Greenaway in 1875. It was the site of many burials of unknown sailors whose ships were wrecked on the Doom Bar while seeking shelter in the Camel Estuary.

Between the church and the sea are the remains of a village which had to be abandoned in a hurry when it was overwhelmed by a sand storm.

It was hard to imagine the turmoil of ship wrecks and sand storms during our visit to St. Enodoc. All was peaceful and calm and we could appreciate why John Betjeman had such happy memories of the place and wished to be buried there. His grave is in the churchyard, near the lych gate.

[Quotations taken from 'Summoned by Bells' and the poem, 'Sunday Afternoon Service in St. Enodoc Church, Cornwall' by John Betjeman 1906-1984.]

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

Sue H


Artwork: Peter Rothwell


  • Valentine's Day - Friday 14th February: Book Early for a table to treat your loved one to a candlelit meal! Choose from the Menu or the Valentine Specials, plus enjoy a few little extra touches to make your evening special.
  • Mother's Day - 30th March: Another one to Book Early for as it does get pretty busy. 'Phone us at the Sawmill on [01271] 882259 or at the Globe on 882465
  • Beetle Drive with Fish and Chip Supper - Friday 28th February: The Globe, £4.00 per person. Put your names down on the list in the bar.
  • Murder Mystery Night - Friday 21st March: The Globe - look out for details nearer the time. Please put your names down on the list at the bar if you are interested in coming

We are now doing Take-away Curries [and a few other items] at The Globe, available every night 6.00 to 9.00 p.m. Please ask if you would like to look at our Take-Away Menu. Phone orders welcome.



31st Fun Quiz and Supper Evening, Manor Hall, 7.00 p.m.
5th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m.
8th Beaford Arts: Bread & Circuses, Wot No Fish, Manor Hall, 7.00pm
11th Parish Council Meeting, Parish Room, 7.00 p.m.
14th Valentine's Day
15th Arts & Crafts ACTIVITY DAY, Manor Hall, 10.30 a.m. onwards
16th Snowdrop Day & Art Workshop, Marwood Hill Gardens, 11.00 am
17th to Friday, 21st: College and Primary School Half Term
19th Mobile Library from 10.55 a.m. Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 pm
23rd Snowdrop Day & Art Workshop, Marwood Hill Gardens, 11.00 am
24th Knit and Natter for North Devon Hospice, Manor Hall, 2.00 p.m.
25th Berry in Bloom & Best Kept Village Meeting, The Globe, 7.30 p.m.
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
28th Beetle Drive & Fish and Chip Supper, The Globe
1st Pre-School Jumble Sale, Manor Hall
5th Mobile Library in Village from 10.55 a.m.
8th Nearly New & Jumble Sale for Newsletter, 10.30 a.m. & 2.00 p.m.
11th Parish Council Meeting, Parish Room, 7.00 p.m
19th Wine Circle, Manor Hall, 8.00 p.m.
21st Murder Mystery Night, The Globe
26th Friendship Lunch, The Globe, 12.00 noon onwards
30th St. Peter's Mothering Sunday. British Summer Time begins
4th College & Primary School: End of Spring Term

Manor Hall Diary
MondaysUpholstery, 9.00 to 1.00 p.m.
Craft Group 1.45 p.m.
Badminton, 7.30 p.m.
TuesdaysN.D. Spinners [2nd & 4th]
Yoga, 7.00 p.m.
WednesdaysPilates Body Workout, 9.00 a.m.
ThursdaysWatercolour Painting 10.00 a.m. [in 10 week term]
FridaysToddlers Soft Play and Activity a.m.
Primary School p.m.
Penn Curzon RoomPre-School: Mon/Tues 9.00 am - 3.00 pm
Wed/Thur/Fri 8.30 am - 3.00m p.m.
Mobile Library - Assistant: Jacqui Mackenzie
Village Shop : 10.45-11.30 a.m. Sterridge Valley : 11.45-12.15 p.m.

School, Pre-School and Toddler Group - Term Time only



Artwork by: Debbie Cook